Dean Prado Appointed to Research!America Board

UM News

Prado photoCORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 16, 2018)—Graduate School Dean Guillermo (Willy) Prado, whose research focuses on the prevention of risky health behaviors in adolescents, has been elected to the board of directors of Research!America, a national advocacy and public education nonprofit committed to promoting research that improves health.

“I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to work alongside the distinguished leaders that comprise the board of directors of Research!America,” said Prado, the Leonard M. Miller Professor of Public Health Sciences and the director of the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health at the Miller School of Medicine. “I am eager to advance Research!America’s mission to elevate the visibility of the importance of research in improving the nation’s health.”

Prado joins the board along with Derek Rapp, president and chief executive officer of JDRF, which is a global leader in funding research for type 1 diabetes.

“Derek Rapp and Dr. Guillermo Prado have committed their careers to improving the lives of patients and supporting efforts to accelerate medical progress,” said Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America. “They bring a wealth of experience to our board and our alliance will benefit tremendously from their longstanding dedication to research for health.”

A double UM alumnus who was appointed dean of the Graduate School in 2016, Prado has focused most of his career on preventing drug use, unsafe sexual behavior, inactivity, poor diet, and other behaviors associated with adolescent morbidity and mortality, particularly in Hispanic youth.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has continuously funded his research on Hispanic adolescent health since the first year of his doctoral program in epidemiology and public health, which he completed in 2005, after earning his Master of Science in statistics in 2000.

Since earning his Ph.D., he has been a principal investigator (PI) Co-PI, or senior mentor of approximately $80 million in HIV, substance abuse, and obesity prevention studies funded by the NIH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

He is currently the PI of two NIH-funded research grants—one in drug abuse and HIV prevention and the second in obesity prevention—and he has been recognized by numerous organizations for his research, mentoring and training of early career scientists.

“We are incredibly proud of Dr. Prado being elected to the Board of Directors of Research America as it is a reflection not only of his exemplary leadership in advocating for the role that basic and translational research plays in our country, but also the University of Miami’s stature,” said Jeffrey Duerk,  executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. “Willy has been a creative and passionate leader of our Graduate School and I am thrilled to see he will have the opportunity to share his talents on the national stage.”

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Maryam Laguna Borrego Appointed to the Florida Commission on Human Relations

Maryam Laguna Borrego, assistant vice president for public affairs, was appointed to the Florida Commission on Human Relations by Governor Rick Scott. Her term runs from March 2018 through September 2021.

“I am honored by the appointment,” said Borrego, an expereinced public affairs, communications, and fundraising professional who joined the University last summer.

Established in 1969 to enforce the Florida Civil Rights Acts, the commission ensures that all people have access to equal opportunities in employment, housing, and public accommodations.


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Pat Whitely Appointed to Catholic Campus Ministry Board

UM News

Patricia A. Whitely

Patricia A. Whitely

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 27, 2018)—Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia A. Whitely, who has played a key role in the development of the University’s Catholic Campus Ministry since joining the UM staff in 1982, has been appointed to the national executive board of the Catholic Campus Ministry Association (CCMA).

“I am so honored to be chosen by the CCMA to represent higher education and Catholic Campus Ministry,” Whitely said. “One of my most fulfilling experiences in higher education was participating in their terrific campus ministry program as an undergraduate. I look forward to the opportunity to serve the organization on a national level and share my experiences with a new generation.”

Composed of nearly 700 campus ministers at more than 500 college campuses and 144 dioceses across the U.S., the CCMA fosters the professional, spiritual, and theological growth of campus ministers and promotes the mission of the Catholic Church in higher education.

As an undergraduate student, Whitely was very involved in the Catholic Campus Ministry at St. John’s University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in business management and theology. In her early years at UM, where she began her career as a residence coordinator in 1982, she served as a part-time minister. Most recently, she advocated for the Archdiocese of Miami to appoint UM’s first Catholic chaplain, Father Phillip Tran, who assumed his post in 2017.

Vice president for student affairs since 1997, Whitely is no stranger to national service. One of the nation’s most highly honored and recognized student affairs professionals, she chaired the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators’ (NASPA) board of directors in 2014-15, and has served on NASPA’s Foundation Board, Editorial Board, and Region III Committee. A frequent presenter for the NASPA Alice Manicur Symposium, she also has received NASPA’s highest honors, from Region III’s John Jones Award for Outstanding Performance as a Senior Student Affairs Professional in 2012 to the 2013 NASPA Scott Goodnight Award for Outstanding Performance as a Senior Student Affairs Officer, the highest award in her profession.

Whitely is held in equal esteem on the UM campus, where in 2012, the Student Government Executive Board honored her by creating and bestowing on her the inaugural “Patricia A. Whitely Unsung Hero Award.” In 2017, the Faculty Senate honored her with its James W. McLamore Outstanding Service and Leadership Award for her countless contributions to the University community.

After graduating from St. John’s, Whitely received her master’s degree in student personnel services from the University of South Carolina, and her doctorate in higher education leadership from the University of Miami. She is an adjunct faculty member in the Higher Education Administration program in the School of Education and Human Development’s Department of Educational and Psychological Studies.



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Walter Secada Appointed Acting Dean

UM News

Walter G. Secada

Walter G. Secada

Senior Associate Dean Walter G. Secada, a professor of teaching and learning and an expert in STEM education, has been appointed acting dean of the School  of Education and Human Development until the national search for Dean Isaac Prilleltensky’s successor concludes this spring.

“I have been honored to work with Dean Prilleltensky for these past ten years,” Secada said. “During these next few months, I hope to maintain his legacy and to hand off a well-functioning School of Education and Human Development to his successor.”

Since joining the UM faculty in the fall of 2003, Secada has been associate director and co-principal investigator (PI) of the original Promoting Science among English Language Learners (P-SELL) study, which introduced a hands-on method of learning that dramatically improved test scores among English-language learners in Miami’s elementary schools.

He has served as associate director and co-PI of Science Made Sensible, which pairs doctoral students in the STEM fields with middle school teachers; associate director and co-PI of Replicating the CGI experiment in diverse environments, which helped primary teachers of mathematics focus their teaching on how students reason and learn to solve mathematics problems; and director and PI of Language in Mathematics, designed to help middle school teachers better facilitate mathematics for English-language learners.

At UM, Secada also has served as chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning and as a member of the University’s Social Sciences Institutional Review Board. He also has been a senior Fulbright fellow, helped the Peruvian ministry of education design its new school mathematics curriculum, and been awarded an honorary professorship by Universidad La Salle in Arequipa, Peru.

Born in Lima, Peru, he graduated from Miami’s Curley High School and later left the area to earn a B.A. in philosophy (magna cum laude) from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Science in Mathematics and a Ph.D. in education from Northwestern University.

He temporarily succeeds Prilleltensky, who stepped down in December after 11 years of distinguished service as dean to devote more time to his scholarly endeavors. After a one-year sabbatical to write a new book, Prilleltensky plans to return to UM as professor of educational and psychological studies and the Erwin and Barbara Mautner Chair in Community Well-Being, and continue his role as vice provost for institutional culture.

“We will be conducting a rigorous national search for a permanent dean of the School of Education and Human Development who will continue to build on our achievements,” Executive Vice President and Provost Jeffrey L. Duerk said in announcing Secada’s appointment. “Please join me in thanking Isaac Prilleltensky for his service and welcoming professor Secada to his new leadership role.”

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Canadian Medical Hall of Famer C. David Naylor Shares His Knowledge

C. David Naylor

C. David Naylor

Known for his visionary contributions to health research, education, administration, and policy, C. David Naylor will share his expertise with the UM community November 14-16, when the president emeritus of the University of Toronto, founding director of the renowned Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, and 2016 inductee into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame becomes the U’s newest visiting talent.

Welcomed to UM as a Distinguished Presidential Scholar, the physician-scientist says he is intrigued by Miami’s “diversity, potential, and momentum,” which reminds him of Toronto’s. He describes both places as among the world’s most multicultural cities.

“I love the energy of both cities and firmly believe that diversity of disciplines, ideas, and backgrounds has very positive effects on learning and research,” he said, adding “there are lots of universities that have been around a long time and have more or less topped out—the University of Miami is very much a growing academic force with great upside.”

Recognized for his “relentless belief” that the world can be a better place, Naylor will share his wealth of knowledge as a physician-scientist, clinician, researcher, and educator—the consummate public health care pioneer—at four speaking engagements, two each on the Coral Gables and Miller School campuses.

His topics: “Paradise Lost: Canada’s Health Care Systems at a Crossroads” (a colloquium); “Endemic Mismeasurement: Heretical Musings on Health, Illness, and Evidence; “Universal Health Care: Canada and the U.S. Revisited; and “What Happens When Science Is Shortchanged?” View the schedule and RSVP for one or more sessions.






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